Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper By Carlotte Perkins Gilman

1080 words - 4 pages

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born in Hartford Connecticut. She was a celebrated essayist and public speaker, she became an important early figure in American feminism. Although Gilman’s father frequently left the family for long periods during her childhood and ultimately divorced his wife, he directed Gilman’s early education, emphasizing study in science and history (4). She studied commercial art at Rhode Island School of Design where she met her husband, an artist named Walter Stetson. After the birth of her daughter, Katherine, she experienced a severe depression. They later divorced and she then married her cousin, George Houghton Gilman, he died around the time rest cure her doctor prescribed became the basis of her most famous story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gilman discovered she had inoperable breast cancer. After finishing her autobiography, she killed herself with chloroform in Pasadena, California.
A review of the articles shows that the first one, Feminist Criticism ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, and the Politics of Color in America” praises contemporary feminism and its role in changing the study and the interpretation of literature. Lanser explains that in the time that feminism was rising, academic woman had discovered that “literature is greatly political and compassed by patriarchy ideology.” Lanser argues that books like “The Yellow Wallpaper were lost in time because of the ideology which determined the works’ content to be disturbing or offensive (417). For example, the editor of the Atlantic Monthly rejected “The Yellow wallpaper” because “I could not forgive himself if he made others miserable as I have made himself (417).” “How we were taught to read” Lanser says, is why a reader cannot fully comprehend the text.” Feminist Criticism has helped changed the way literary work has been interpreted by scholars, but according to Lanser “our own patterns must also be deconstructed if we are to recover meanings still hidden and overlooked.” To help in her in the exploration of feminist criticism Lanser includes pieces written by some from her feminist community. She considers the short story a “congenial medium” of how literature has been reevaluated because of how the narrator is trying to interpret the wall. To her the wallpaper is confusing and unrecognizable. Lancer, argued that white feminist readings of "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a universal tale of patriarchal oppression had obscured the racist dimensions of the story's symbolic use of the color yellow, especially since Gilman wrote the story in California during a time of intense anxiety about Chinese immigrants as a "yellow peril." “When Lanser suggested that Gilman's upper-middle-class white female narrator may have been repressing the reality of racial difference, she inaugurated a new line of self-conscious criticism that highlighted the distortions of Gilman's own perspective.”
The second article, “The writing’s on the wall” symbolic orders in...

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